Ricky L. Whitmore, a 31-year veteran of the Pine Bluff Police Department who had been serving as a deputy chief of police, was promoted to assistant chief on Monday, according to the PBPD.
Whitmore fills the position that has been vacant since former Assistant Chief Kelvin Sergeant was named chief of police by Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington following the retirement of former Chief Ivan Whitfield at the end of February.
Whitmore began work with the department on April 26, 1987, and has worked in every division of the department.
Whitmore’s most recent assignment was in the Administrative Division, where he served from October 2016 until Monday. Prior to that, he supervised the department’s Patrol Division from February 2013 through October 2016, the Service Division from February 2011 to February 2013, and the Detective Division from June 2009 to February 2011.
He was reassigned to the Service Division from May 2007 through June 2009, then served a second stint in the Detective Division from February 2005 to May 2007, and in Community Strategies (Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics) from November 2002 through May 2005.
Whitmore was named acting chief of police in April 2005 and held that position until August 2005 when he was named interim chief, a position he held until March of 2006.
A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a BA in Criminal Justice, Whitmore also graduated from the Police Executive Research Forum at Boston, Massachusetts, in September 2003, the Criminal Justice Institute School of Supervision at Little Rock in 2001 and the Institute of Police Technology and Management at Jacksonville, Florida, in 1994.
He has been married to his wife, Ella ,for 39 years, and they have three children and five grandchildren. Whitmore is a member of Old St. James Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves on the Board of Trustees.
Moving up to deputy chief to fill the spot vacated by Whitmore is Terry Hopson, who has been with the department since April 1987.
Like every officer at the department, Hopson began in the Patrol Division and remained there until 1990 when he was reassigned to the Detective Division. He was promoted to sergeant in 1991 and remained in that division until 1999 when he was promoted to lieutenant and reassigned to the Patrol Division. He went back detectives in 2001 and was promoted to captain last year.
Hopson is a two-time officer of the year winner, a two-time supervisor of the year winner and two-time Catherine Whiteside award winner. He has also received the Optimist Club Officer of the Year award, the Arkansas Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award and the FBI “John T. Kelly” award, as well as meritorious conduct and life-saving awards from the department.
A life-long resident of Pine Bluff, he is married to Amy Hopson, has two daughters, Eme and Kallie Hopson, and a late son, Seth Hopson.
Former lieutenant and now-Captain Denise Richardson has worked for the department since February 1994 and has worked in all divisions of the department during her career.
As a patrolman, Richardson worked in the patrol, service, traffic and investigations divisions and was one of the first two officers assigned to the D.A.R.E. program after receiving training and certification from the Illinois State Police at Springfield, Illinois. She was also one of only two officers in the department to obtain Physical Fitness Specialist Certification through the Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research at Dallas, Texas. She was responsible for creating testing and policy for physical fitness within the department. She also served as a school resource officer and field training officer.
She was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2003 and to lieutenant in 2007.
As a lieutenant, she served as a supervisor in patrol, narcotics, administration and investigations and received extensive supervisory training from the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute. She is a 2004 graduate of Session XXIII of the School of Law Enforcement Supervision.
Richardson is currently enrolled at the University of Louisville in Kentucky’s Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course, where she serves as vice-president. She is scheduled to complete the course on May 10.
She was the first black female in the history of the department to be promoted to lieutenant and subsequent to that, the first black woman to serve as investigations lieutenant and as vice lieutenant. She was also a member of the Tri-County Drug Task Force.
She attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Derrick Price, a 13-year-veteran of the department, was promoted to lieutenant Monday.
A 1994 graduate of Pine Bluff High School, Price received a bachelor’s degree in communications from U.AP.B. in 2003 and has been a sergeant since 2011.
After beginning his career in the Patrol Division, he worked as a Warrant Officer for a year, followed by three years as a School Resource Officer, working in both the Dollarway and Pine Bluff School districts. That was followed by four years in the Administrative Services Division before the promotion.
More recently, he has been a patrol sergeant on all three shifts, days, swing and graveyard.
“I’ve also been able to provide a professional community-oriented Police service to the citizens of Pine Bluff while protecting life, property and maintaining order while assuring fair and equal treatment to everyone,” he said.
Price has two children, Achilles and Aubrey Price.
Promoted to the rank of sergeant was Travis Goforth, who has been with the department since 2003, the year he began his career in the Patrol Division. While assigned to patrol, he completed Field Training Officer school and became a training officer before being reassigned to the Detective Division for the first of two separate stints.
While assigned to that division, he received specialized training in Homicide Investigation and Interview and Interrogation Techniques.
He has been a member of the department’s SWAT team, where he was an assistant team leader and have received levels one and two training, as well as training in Explosive Entry.
Goforth has also been assigned to the Office of Professional Standards and is now in the Traffic Division, where he has received training in accident reconstruction.
In 2005, he was awarded the Medal of Valor from the department and Officer of the Year from the State of Arkansas. He has also received several other commendations during his career.